The Urban Mission Center has made the commitment to be more involved in the justice movements that are happening in the city. One of the first ways that we acted out this commitment was to attend Faith For Justice's annual MLK Jr. Event on January . One of our Temple House dwellers, Hannah Manyara, was kind enough to write about her experience at the event.
The Urban Mission Center was excited to attend the Stride Toward Freedom: Reclaim MLK 2017 event which was hosted by South City Church. During the event, we heard from various speakers and joined together as a community with our neighbors and friends, activists and newly woke participants. Being someone newly woke, this gathering was helpful as I learned about laws, amendments, and systems which had been used to undermine people of color and other minorities for generations. There were both faith and justice aspects to the different sessions which allowed for individuals from various walks of life to feel welcomed and included in the conversation. The part of the evening which had the biggest impact on me personally was when we read off the names of those who had been killed at the hands of police officers. Some names were well known because of the media coverage they received, and others were lesser known. Speaking their names and giving pause for their lives cut short was sobering and gave me a vision for why we are lifting our voices against these injustices.
At the end of the evening, I was challenged by three things which were discussed throughout the sessions. First, I want to open my home to those who are different from me whether it is race, nationality, gender or religion. Secondly, I want to educate myself on the policies which are being passed by both the local and national government. Finally, I want to step out and stand with those who are in the fight against these injustices; silence against injustice is the same as endorsement. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
I hope you feel encouraged and maybe even led to join me in any or all of these challenges as you begin 2017. I pray that stepping outside of our comfort zones will be a rewarding challenge which takes us to places we never knew we had the strength or courage to reach.